How do I stop myself ‘freezing’ when I’m speaking?
She was an excellent presenter. Engaging, warm, knowledgeable and very well prepared. She asked me a simple, direct question and I gave her the same kind of answer back.
Write much less and rehearse much more
She looked at me as if I was crazy. But I kind of forced her and the team through the process over the next 2 days. Here’s what we did…
- We clarified the point of the presentation- to show the client what they’d get (Cost reductions of £2m plus over three years- concrete, tangible deliverables)
- We sketched out the story in general terms (Attention grabbing headline, context and background, options, choices, dilemmas; recommendations, prices, action)
- Then rather than have people write their script, I made them rehearse out loud; from inarticulate hesitancy to unscripted fluency in about an hour of ‘do it, do it again’ type repetition.
The reason why people ‘freeze’ is because they’ve written their words out and have memorized them. This leads to blind reliance on one version of what you want to say. Forget where you are, get asked a question, lose your track and that’s when you freeze.
She was brilliant on the day.